Fatigue, drowsiness and tiredness are side effects associated with Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients conducting both Hemo and Peritoneal Dialysis. However, fatigue, drowsiness and tiredness specifically can put Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients at severe risk when operating an automobile.
Recommended Reading: The Unspoken Dangers Of Driving On Dialysis And Necessary Precautions
Fatigue is thought to be caused by a combination of the: Loss of normal Kidney Function, effects Dialysis can have on the body, dietary restrictions associated with Dialysis, and overall stress and anxiety that many people with Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure regularly experience. Given these challenges, it is a scary likelihood that many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients fall into the 60% of adult drivers in the United States (that's approximately 168 million people) who have admitted to driving a vehicle when they're drowsy. Have you?
According to Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation, the effects of "drowsy driving are serious" because it can impair a Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patient who is driving just like driving drunk. A patients memory is impaired, processing ability drops, and reaction time slows. In fact, did you know that "driver fatigue" is responsible for more than 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, and nearly 2,000 deaths each year?
Recommended Reading: Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Do Not Have To Suffer Sleep Loss
Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients already have enough life threatening health issues of which to contend without having to add driving to their list. Hence, let's attempt to reduce the risk of driving drowsy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, signs of drowsiness while driving may include:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable
If Chronic Kidney Disease or Dialysis patients find themselves getting fatigued, drowsy or tired, then they should stop driving, and let a passenger drive while the Dialysis patients get sleep before continuing their trip. Secondly, consider pulling over in a safe location and taking a fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minute nap. Also consuming caffeine, equivalent of two cups of coffee has been found to effectively increase alertness. Note, other strategies such as opening a window or listening to the radio, have not been proven, suggested the Cable News Network (CNN).
Will you implement some of these strategies to avoid drowsy driving? Share your answer with the over 27,600 Friends who have Liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page. Be sure to Like KidneyBuzz.com while you are there. Also, consider following the over 100,000 monthly visitors on KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.